Dallas Stars v Boston Bruins

Bruins’ Eriksson heads to dressing room after hard Orpik hit (Updated)

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Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson took a heavy hit from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik and went off to the dressing room.

The hit occurred early in the first period between these two Eastern Conference powerhouses.

The 28-year-old Eriksson has five goals and 14 points in 23 games in his first season with the Bruins.

Updated: Eriksson will not return to the game, as per the Bruins’ official Twitter account.

Bruins’ Boychuk out 3-7 days with sprained back

Johnny Boychuk
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After Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was injured after being boarded Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, it seemed like he might be out for a while. Hockey players are made of sterner stuff these days it seems.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Boychuk would miss 3-7 days with a sprained back. Being out at most a week seems miraculous given that he was taken off the Bell Centre ice on a stretcher and was in very obvious pain when Habs forward Max Pacioretty hit him from behind.

The news was good yesterday when the Bruins said it was a lower back injury and not a head or neck-related. After seeing the play, assumptions were for the worst. At least now we’re proven again what happens when we assume things.

The downside for Boston is the next seven days are busy as they’ve got five games between today and next Saturday. They’re at home against Pittsburgh tonight and then hit the road for four straight starting in Toronto on Sunday.

Canadiens move atop the Atlantic Division with win over rival Bruins

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens
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The Montreal Canadiens continue to roll, right on up to the top of the Atlantic Division.

The Canadiens took over first place in the division thanks to a 2-1 win over their long-time rivals, the Boston Bruins. In fact, the Habs jumped past the Bruins in the division standings.

The win improved Montreal’s record to 18-9-3, however the Bruins do have two games in hand on the Habs.

Trailing after the first period, the Canadiens got a pair of second-period goals from Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty, before holding on for the win after that.

Pacioretty now has four goals in his last five games.

But the story of this game wasn’t the score. In the first period, Bruins’ defenseman Johnny Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being hit into the corner boards by Pacioretty.

The incident occurred less than five minutes into the game. Pacioretty was assessed a minor penalty for boarding.

“As soon as I saw the stretcher come out I wanted to puke. I felt awful,” said Pacioretty of the Boychuk incident, according to TSN’s John Lu.

According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, a source indicated that the injury is to the lower back, but isn’t expected to be serious.

Bruins’ Iginla staying positive despite scoring struggles

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders
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His goal production is down compared to years past.

But Boston Bruins forward Jarome Iginla isn’t dwelling on that, at least not publicly, despite just five goals in 26 games this season, which comes after he signed a one-year deal worth $6 million in total this summer.

The 36-year-old right winger has twice scored 50 goals or more in a season, and isn’t far removed from 32 and 43-goal seasons with the Calgary Flames.

“There have been different years where the goals come at different times. It can really switch fast. What I’ve learned over the years is just to make sure you’re shooting the puck. I believe they will come in time, but at least we’re winning hockey games right now,” Iginla told CSNNE.com.

“You just need to keep working hard, and keep getting better. You’re in good scoring situations, so you want to produce. But it’s important to also stay positive.”

NHL matinee on NBC: Rangers seek revenge against roughed-up Bruins

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) makes a save with New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) threatening in the third period of their NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47) defends on the play as the Bruins defeated the Rangers 2-1. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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Looking to rest off yesterday’s feast? NBC has a 1 p.m. ET game set up between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. In addition to NBC, you can also watch it online.

For the first time since they were eliminated by the Bruins in the 2013 playoffs, the New York Rangers will return to TD Garden. They’re out for revenge, but Boston will be looking to heal from even fresher wounds.

Boston traveled to Detroit on Wednesday were handed an embarrassing 6-1 setback.

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“Everything we did (Wednesday night) was just disastrous,” Bruins coach Claude Julien remarked, according to the Boston Herald.

“Every once in a while during the season you get a game like that and you just hope it wakes your team up a little bit. Hopefully a little jolt like that will help you get better here.”

With that in mind, this game has extra meaning for the Bruins. This will determine if that crushing defeat was just a blip on the radar or a far more ominous sign.

Meanwhile the Rangers are hoping that their lowest point is already well behind them. They endured a brutal nine-game road trip to start the season and have just barely finished climbing out of the 3-6-0 hole they were in by the time that stint ended.

They’re wrapping up another lengthy journey, but this time it’s gone far better with three wins in four matches going into this contest. Henrik Lundqvist and rookie Cam Talbot have played a huge part in that turnaround, ensuring that the Rangers have consistently enjoyed solid goaltending.

Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask is tentatively penciled in to counter Lundqvist. Like his teammates, Rask didn’t come out of Wednesday’s contest looking particularly good, but he has been terrific overall this season. A match against the Rangers might be the perfect antidote for a bad game too, given that he turned aside 43 of 44 shots against New York when he faced them on Nov. 19.

Playing against the Rangers has been a pretty good gig for opposing goaltenders so far this season. New York is averaging just 2.12 goals per game, so if the Bruins’ forwards click today, then the Rangers will have difficulty keeping pace.

The Rangers’ offense ran dry against the Bruins during the playoffs and again in their match a week and a half ago. We’ll see if they can break that cycle today.